For me, Game of Thrones was one of those shows that was addicting and easy to binge watch. In the past, every time a new season would come out, I’d find myself starting over, watching all the previous seasons in a rush. I had to remember all of the small details, had to know what would happen next. But after finishing season 5, I’m done.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never a super fanboy or anything. I read the first couple books back before it was a TV show and really enjoyed them. I probably would have continued experiencing the story that way, but then my schedule changed and there was no time to read 1500+ page books anymore. I moved to the TV show. The first few seasons were amazing. It had great acting and seemed to stick to the events of the book (from what I could remember). The thing I think I liked most about the series is the vulnerability of the main characters. It was thrilling and felt realistic.
As I watched later seasons, I began to wonder, “What has this become?” The nudity, blood, gore, conniving, and backstabbing had all been there since the very first season, but the tone had shifted. It was like the producers or writers had decided they had to keep one-upping their prior work, that they had to keep exceeding the prior “edginess.” The show was already over the top. They didn’t need to take it further.
The fourth season was bad, but the fifth season was worse. I invested so much into these characters just to have them do something horrible (or having something horrible done to them) and then die. From an author’s perspective, I feel this is terrible storytelling. Having your main characters be vulnerable is one thing, but killing off huge swaths of them is not a way to keep your readers interested and entertained. Another thing I’ve noticed is that characters have changed so much they’ve become almost unrecognizable. Maybe I misinterpreted some of them from the start, but most of them are acting out of line regarding their personalities, at least in my opinion. My suspension of disbelief is gone.
So I won’t be watching season six. There are no characters left at this point that I care about, at least not enough to wade through all the negative feelings the show gives me. Maybe the books are better, but I still don’t have time to read such large tomes. What started out as such an awesome thing has spiraled down into a mess. They took the qualities that made it interesting and amplified them to the extent the show was ruined.
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